The Oft-Overlooked 3.2 Liter V6 Chrysler / Dodge Engines

3.2 in concorde

Chrysler's 3.2 liter V-6 engine was a new aluminum-block design based on the original 3.5 liter V6, launched in 1998 and dropped in 2002. Power was about the same as the original 3.5 engine, with a broader torque curve — an impressive feat, given the smaller displacement and the use of regular, rather than mid-grade, fuel.

3.2 liter vs 3.5 liter

Chrysler 3.2 V6 in colorThe 3.2 V6 had a variable intake system, building on Chrysler’s work back in the 1950s and 60s; it varied the length of the intake manifold tubes to create a small, but useful, supercharging effect at different engine speeds.

Bob Sheaves set the order of the engine development and components (not actual production) as:

  • 3.3: first clean-sheet Chrysler V6; cam-in-block pushrod
  • 3.2 V63.8 pushrod engine for extra torque in minivans and New Yorker/Dynasty (bored/stroked 3.3)
  • 3.5 first generation: high output 3.3, all aluminum, single overhead cam (SOHC)
  • 3.5 second generation - higher output; still SOHC
  • 2.7 - higher efficiency, smaller version of the second 3.5; dual cam (DOHC)
  • 3.2 - increased torque 2.7 (SOHC)

Willem Weertman’s Chrysler Engines suggests that the 2.7 was based directly off the 3.5 V6, but is really in its own engine family. In any case, all these engines were Chrysler designs, though some mistakenly attribute them to Mitsubishi.

Chrysler V6 engine comparison chart

Chrysler V6 engines compared with those of competitive cars, 1998

Vehicle Engine hp Octane Car cost
Nissan Maxima, 19973.0L190Regular$24,675
Ford Taurus, 19963.0L200Regular$24,205
Intrepid/Concorde, 19982.7L200Regular$21,000
Cadillac Catera, 19973.0L200Premium$34,750
LH series, 1993-973.5L214Mid-Grade$24,270
Intrepid/Concorde, 19983.2L220Regular$24,000
Ford Taurus SHO, 19963.4L235Premium$28,250
LHS/300M, 19983.5L250Mid-Grade$30,000

Competitive information from manufacturer’s press kits and data books.

Chrysler V6 engine specifications - “LH” series, 1998-2007

All three engines had 24 valves (four per cylinder) and reduced emissions with at least one three-way catalytic converter, quad-heated oxygen sensors, and EGR.

Category 2.7 Liter 3.2 liter 3.5 Liter (LX)
Bore x Stroke 3.39 x 3.09 3.66 x 3.19 3.78 x 3.19
Compression 9.71:1 / 9.9:1
9.5:1 9.9:1
Power (hp)

190 or 200

220 @ 6600 250 @6400
Torque (lb-ft)

188 or 190

222 @ 4000 250 @ 3900
Max. RPM 6464 or 6,600 6800 rpm ?
Fuel 87 octane (regular) 89 preferred

The 3.2 used sequential multiple-port electronic fuel injection, with valves actuated by hydraulic center-privot roller rocker arms. The head was cast aluminum, on a semi-permanent mold cast aluminum block (using iron cylinder liners). Gas mileage in the Concorde was 19 city, 29 highway with a four speed automatic.

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